Interlock and Monitoring Devices
The ignition interlock is one of several devices used to monitor those arrested for or convicted of DWI. Currently, if you are arrested and have a BAC of .15 or above, most Tarrant County judges will require an interlock be placed on your vehicle. If you have a prior conviction the law requires an ignition interlock be placed on your vehicle. If you don’t have a vehicle, the technology is available to monitor you. Judge’s may require a portable device that you would have to take with you and provide a specimen throughout your workday. This device can be more intrusive and inconvenient than an ignition interlock. For other cases, a judge may require a SCRAM device which is very expensive.
The ignition interlock is placed in your vehicle and you will be required to provide a specimen of breath before your car will start. You will also be required to provide a specimen while driving in what is called a Rolling Retest. Failure to blow when a rolling retest is requested will be noted in the record and will be seen as unfavorable by a judge.
There are substances that can affect an ignition interlock such as mouthwash (but not at a sustainable amount) and perfumes. Warnings (.02 and above) and Violations (.03 and above) can result in bond revocation or probation revocation.
The in-hom device by Smart Start is misleading as it is a portable device about the size of an ancient brick cell phone and not something that stays at home. Judges will require you to blow in this a certain amount of times per day during predetermined windows. Late blows are considered missed blows and could lead to bond or probation revocations.
The SCRAM device is an ankle monitor that measures alcohol through perspiration. The device, which has a replacement value of $1500 costs users about $400 per month.